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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

COVID-19 Exposure Risk Higher At Large Gatherings In Panhandle

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
CDC
/
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

As statewide coronavirus cases rise, residents wanting to assess the risk of holiday get-togethers can get help through a live county-by-county map from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The data doesn’t show users the likelihood of actually catching the virus - that largely depends on whether people wear a mask and practice social distancing. Public health experts say following those guidelines reduces the spread of COVID-19.

Instead, allows users to adjust the size of an event to see the likelihood of at least one attendee carrying the virus.

Walton County is the riskiest place in the state to invite a lot of people to Thanksgiving.

The odds of someone having the virus at a 10-15 person dinner there is roughly 30-40%. At larger gatherings - those with 25-30 people present - the risk level jumps to nearly 60%.

Jackson County is the second riskiest in the state for indoor gatherings.

And Bay, Gulf, Calhoun, Washington, Holmes, Okaloosa, Escambia, Leon and Wakulla Counties all have higher risk levels than most other counties in the state.

In South Florida, Broward, Monroe and Miami-Dade Counties also have elevated risk levels.

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Valerie Crowder is a freelance reporter based in Panama City, Florida. Before moving to Florida, she covered politics and education for Public Radio East in New Bern, North Carolina. While at PRE, she was also a fill-in host during All Things Considered. She got her start in public radio at WAER-FM in Syracuse, New York, where she was a part-time reporter, assistant producer and host. She has a B.A. in newspaper online journalism and political science from Syracuse University. When she’s not reporting the news, she enjoys reading classic fiction and thrillers, hiking with members of the Florida Trail Association and doing yoga.